When viewed across decades, historic homes seem to grow, fall into disrepair, and flower again in ways that more modern houses do not. Walls move, rooms are added, and the whole house evolves over time. Often major changes are tied to particular owners ... other changes come about because of less predictable events like fire or bankruptcy.
This page describes the home's prior owners. Much of the information on this page comes from courthouse records, but I've pieced together other parts from a variety of sources. Some parts are quite sketchy ... and if anyone knows more about the home's history, please contact me. -- Dave Sullivan
N. H. Allen -- 1880 - ????
N. H. Allen built the house around 1880. He owned a lumber mill and later a mercantile store. He strung a wire from a dynamo in his lumber mill on the river to the home -- making it the first home in Albany to have electric lights. Later, he organized the Albany Electric & Telephone Company in 1886.
Margaret Swanson, Frank and Evangeline Allen ???? - 1955
In 1955, Margaret Swanson owned an undivided two-thirds interest in the home. Frank and Evangeline Allen owned the other one-third interest. In July 1955 they transferred their ownership to Gordon and Madeline Allen.
Gordon and Madeline Allen 1955 - 1967
In May 1967 the Allen family lost control of the property when it was put up for sale through a public auction by the First National Bank of Oregon. The property sold for $6500.
These pictures were taken in 1966 when Portland scrap dealers, Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan, were in Albany looking at old buildings ... so they show a bit about the condition of the home shortly before the public auction.
First National Bank of Oregon 1967 - 1978
Strange as it may seem, the public records indicate that the First National Bank of Oregon owned the house between 1967 and 1978. I know very little about the house in this period.
Clarence and Jewell Pare 1978 - 1982
The Pares purchased the home in May 1978.
Richard and Theresa Larson 1982 -1988
The Larsons purchased the home in May 1982 for $45,000. They made extensive updates to the home -- installing a new electrical system, removing plaster and replacing it with drywall ...
Richard and Roseanne Siemens 1988 - 1997
The Siemens purchased the home in May 1988 for $69,500. You can learn more about a fun event during their stay in the home on the Cresting in 1995 portion of the Roof and Cresting page.
Cory and Vicki Yeske 1997 - 2002
W. Cory Yeske and Vicki J. Yeske, purchased the home in March 1997 for $155,000. A little more than five years later, in December 2002, after the Yeskes defaulted on their mortgage, the home was sold at a public auction for $129,016. I suspect the drop in value was the result of several factors. Based on the best evidence available to me, it appears the Yeskes started but did not complete a bunch of remodeling projects. Worse, the roof had failed, so the eaves and rafters had significant rot. To my eye, it appeared the home had taken a rather rapid decline in just the last few years.
However, in a series of email messages to me (Dave Sullivan), Vicki Yeske makes the case that "the house was a mess" when the Yeskes purchased it from Richard and Roseanne Siemens. So she lays the blame for many of the home's flaws on earlier deferred maintenance issues.
Dave and Barbara Sullivan
We bought the home in August 2003 from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for a bargain price because the home was in pretty rough shape.
The following three-part video was recorded by Dave Sullivan on August 12, 2003 -- the day we purchased the home. All three parts are hosted on YouTube.
Part 1 explores the exterior of the home.
Part 2 explores the first and second floor.
Part 3 wanders around the basement.
The following photos show the condition of the home when we purchased it, August 2003.
The Allen-House.Com and RoyalHouse1873.com websites are maintained by Dave and Barbara Sullivan who live in the N. H. Allen House at 208 6th Avenue SE, Albany, Oregon. Our home phone is 541-924-5983.